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Get Ready Portugal & Spain River Cruise

Are You Ready To Sail Through Portugal & Spain?

The countdown is on! It’s time to start planning all those little details that will make our OUTbound cruise through Portugal’s wine country and into Spain even more amazing! Below are a few things to help you make the most of our vacation together. As always, if you have any questions that we haven’t covered, or have a special request, hit us up… either by phone at 916.683.1000 or email us at info@iamOUTbound.com.

Let’s get started!
Flights

Flight Ideas

Since our Douro cruise leaves from Porto and we depart from Lisbon, many OUTbounders are booking a ‘Multi-City’ ticket when looking for flights. The ‘Multi-City’ option can be found on most airline’s websites where you would choose between a one-way or round trip flight or under the ‘Advanced Search’ link. With the ‘Multi-City’ option, you’ll be able to enter your departure airport, arrival in Porto (OPO) and then a departure from Lisbon (LIS) back to your original airport. The multi-city option will often be cheaper than purchasing two one-way tickets separately.

Another option you can look at is booking round trip airfare to and from Lisbon, with a one-way ticket from Lisbon up to Porto at the start of our cruise. This is a fairly cost-effective option while also giving our OUTbounders the ability to arrive early in Porto if you wish to do a little exploring on your own.

TAP Air

If you do end up booking a round trip airline ticket to Lisbon, a popular one-way flight option from Lisbon to Porto is with TAP Air Portugal.

Select ‘Book a Flight’, then ‘One Way’. Enter your ‘from’ as Lisbon (LIS) and your ‘to’ as Porto (OPO), then enter your ‘when’ date of travel. Our cruise begins on Friday, June 7, 2024. Currently there are eight daily direct flights from Lisbon to Porto, typically ranging in price from about $60 to $80 per person.

And of course the standard disclaimer, you are always welcome to book any flight or airline you wish and OUTbound does not guarantee or endorse any airline or flight.

The airline you choose is completely up to you. While flights are not included, we’re always happy to help narrow down the best flight options for you. Simply give us a call or send us an email, letting us know where you’ll be flying from, if you have a preferred airline (based on frequent flyer miles or credit card points), & what class of service you typically like to book.

Boarding Our Ship

Getting to the Ship

Our ship will be docked at Fluvial Pier Quebrantões, located at R. Silva Tapada 317, 4430-999 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal. Vila Nova de Gaia (or simply Gaia) is the district in Porto on the south side of the Douro river.

Getting to the Fluvial Pier from Porto International Airport (OPO) takes about 25 to 30 minutes by car.

Have your driver follow the signs for Vila Nova de Gaia to the Avenida da Republica (the main road) towards the river. Just before the Douro, take the Rua Luis de Camoes on the right. When you reach the roundabout, follow “Cais de Quebrantoes” (for direct access to the boat). The dock is under the Sao Joao railway bridge.

Fluvial Pier Quebrantões  Address: R. Silva Tapada 317, 4430-999 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

By Taxi:  Rates for taxis can often range from €35 (day time) to €50 (night time), and are readily available as you exit the Porto airport on the arrivals (ground) level.

By Rideshare:  Uber is available all over Portugal. Uber fares from the Porto airport to our ship docked at Fluvial Pier Quebrantões often run anywhere from €18 to €25, depending on the time of day and traffic.

 

Boarding

Boarding officially begins at 4:00pm local time on June 7th, but you are free to arrive at our ship at any time after 2:00pm. In the event your stateroom is not ready prior to 4:00pm, feel free to drop your bags at the reception desk, grab a drink from the bar and relax in the panoramic lounge or head up top to the sun deck to recover from your long travel day.

 

City Lights Cruise

Our ship will leave the Fluvial Pier at 9:00pm for a City Lights cruise past downtown Porto and under its many iconic bridges which can be best appreciated at night. The cruise will last about an hour and is scheduled to return to our dock at 10:00pm. Should you arrive at the pier during this time, dock workers will be available to welcome you, grab your luggage and stay with you until our ship’s return at the end of the tour at approximately 10:00pm.

 

Late Arrivals

We get it… you’re traveling to Europe and sometimes delays happen. No worries… we’ve got you. OUTbound has arranged for our ship to stay docked at the Fluvial Pier in Porto overnight. In fact, our tour of Porto doesn’t take place until Saturday morning, June 8th. So there’s absolutely no reason to stress about missing the boat so to speak!

Porto Hotel Options

Porto Hotels

For those of you who are getting an early start and arriving early in Porto, there are a good selection of hotels to choose from. Below are a couple of really good options for getting a jump on your vacation!

First is the InterContinental Porto Palácio das Cardosas. This is one of the hotels most frequented by gay couples. It’s an old converted palace right in the heart of the old district. The staff is really friendly and always have suggestions for dining, bars and things-to-do off the beaten path. Rooms will run right around $350 to $375 per night in June. Here’s a link to their website… InterContinental Porto

The Yeatman is another great spot, but more on the pricy side. They call themselves a ‘wine hotel’. It sits near the Douro with some really great views of the river and the old city. Again, this place is also very gay friendly. It sits on the opposite side of the Douro from the old city, so you’ll need to take one of the ferries across to explore there. The ferries are super easy to use and run continuously back and forth. Prices here can be upwards of $500.  Here’s their website… The Yeatman

You might also want to look at the Hotel Infante Sagres. It was just renovated a few years ago. It sits a little further from the Douro than the other two, but still within walking distance of all the things you’d want to see and do. Prices are a little cheaper here… usually under $300 for a night during the summer months. Here’s their website… Hotel Infante Sagres

Theme Nights

Theme Nights & Parties

Nothing makes an OUTbound event more fun than our THEME NIGHTS! This is your chance to express yourself with a fun t-shirt, wild wig or full blow costume. Feel free to show us what you got! As always with OUTbound, you are welcome to participate as much or as little as you like, it’s up to you!

Here are your OUTbound Portugal & Spain Wine Cruise Theme Nights!

What’s your favorite Decade? Will you get down with the funky disco beats of the 70s? Will you ride the new wave waves of the 80s? Are you more of a 90s pop diva? Rock OUT with us as we travel back through the decades and dance to our favorite hits of the eras!

It’s our night of Glitz & Glamour, with a special performance by our OUTbound headliner Joe Posa as Joan Rivers! Join Joe for his one-woman show performing as the legendary queen of glitz, Joan Rivers. Break out your finest rhinestones, sequins and glittery shirts for our night of glamour!

It’s an OUTbound favorite! Tonight we’ll don our wigs and sip some wine while enjoying some of the most fun onboard with our Wigs & Wine party. Go fierce, go funny, go big or go as small as you want, and let’s wig out with some wild looks and lovely luscious locks of love!

Tonight we Celebrate Portugal, in vibrant reds, greens & golds! Join us as we honor the stunning country we’re sailing through. We’ll be treated to an authentic performance of Fado singing by a local performance group who will share with us some of their wonderful local traditions.

Get your glow on as we spend the night under the Neon Lights. Break out your best glow looks as we light up the night in the lounge on our way back to Porto. Tonight is the night to turn it on and light it up!

EU Visa Requirements

Will I need a Visa to enter the EU?

No! Americans who are planning to visit Europe with us in 2024 will not have to worry about applying for the European Union’s new travel authorization system.

US Citizens do not need a Visa to enter the EU.

For almost a decade now, European Union authorities have been working on a visa-like system called the European Travel Information and Authorization System. After several years of delays, the new system has now been pushed back to mid-2025 because its entry/exit database still isn’t ready.

That means US Citizens will not need a Visa this summer to join us in Portugal and Spain.

Tipping

Tipping Our Hosts

Tipping is the ONLY thing not included with your OUTbound vacation. We never want to dictate anyone’s generosity or decide how much you think YOUR experience with a crew member, waitstaff or tour guide was worth. How much to tip depends on the type of service you receive and your personal experience.

During our trip together, you’ll come into contact with many different servers and hosts. At the end of each day’s guided tour, you’ll have the chance to tip our guide and driver whatever you feel your experience was worth.

Onboard our ship, you’ll receive an envelope in your stateroom on the last night of our cruise before disembarking the next morning in Porto and heading down to Lisbon. It’s here where you will have the opportunity to leave a tip that will be split among the crew… waitstaff, bartenders, room stewards and the entertainment staff.

A general rule of thumb for tipping the ship’s staff is €10 per day, per person.

However, if your experience warrants something more, then by all means feel free to be as generous as you would like. If you feel that any individual in particular has gone above and beyond in making your experience something extra special, then we encourage you to reach out to them directly and let them know how much you appreciated their service during our time together.

Currency

What Money Should You Bring?

Portugal & Spain

Both Portugal and Spain are members of the European Union and one of 20 countries that uses the Euro (abbreviated €) as their national currency.

You can also use your credit or debit card as well throughout our trip, as credit cards are widely accepted everywhere in both countries. However, remember that there will be additional bank charges upon usage and even a foreign transaction fee in some cases, depending on your bank.

Power Outlets

What Power Converters Will I Need?

For your visit to the European Union, you’ll need a Type C adapter for use on our ship as it has the standard EU power outlets. This will be the same adapter you’ll need for any hotels you’ll be staying in if you are extending your trip to Europe.

The Type C is the plug which has two round pins, like this…

You can also find a ton of options on Amazon or other retailers that will include USB ports for charging your phone, tablet and other devices all at the same time.

Keep in mind that the United Kingdom (UK) uses different power outlets than the EU, so the Type C adapter will not work if you are visiting England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland during your trip.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

If we’ve learned anything over these last couple of years, it’s that the world can be an uncertain place at times. While you’re never required to buy travel insurance, it’s a good idea and we recommend all OUTbounders consider protecting your hard-earned vacation money. The price of your coverage will depend on a few factors, including the cost of the trip, what state you live in, how long before the trip departs, and if you have any pre-existing or underlying health conditions, to name a few.

Some reasons why you might buy travel insurance include:

  • Cancel for Any Reason
  • Unexpected Work Requirements
  • Personal or Family Illness

OUTbound does not provide travel insurance. However, we always recommend using a third-party insurance carrier to provide your coverage.

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